Have you been successful in getting better w/out meds?

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MaWie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 7/21/2005 2:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,
I just joined and this is my first post. scool
 
I have a follow up appt w/a psych tomorrow and I am going to say that I want off the meds.
 
Just a quick history: I was diagnosed with MDD back in Feb/Mar.  I started taking Celexa for a couple weeks, then switched to Cymbalta... result of being checked into the hospital. sad
I've also taken other med's over the course of the past couple of months - Sonata (for sleep), Ambien (also for sleep), Risperdal (cause I think too much at night), Ativan (for anxiety), and Paxil (another AD).
I'm currently just taking the Cymbalta and the sleeping aids (as needed) along with a multi-vitamin.  I also try to excercise at least 4-5 times a week.
 
Taking the med has helped, but I feel as if I'd be better off them.  I am very weary about taking meds for stuff (I even try not to take pain killers for my chronic low back pain); I feel that I'm damaging my physical health for my mental health.
 
Has anyone taken meds then went off them and felt good... for good? And when you went off the meds, were there any withdrawal symptoms?
 
Thanks for the responses beforehand.

AlwaysRosie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 7/21/2005 5:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello MaWie

Welcome to the forum.

I have taken meds that I go off of and get better. I took several different drugs for GERD (reflux) and finally was helped with prilosec (before it was available over the counter) . . . it really reversed my acid reflux problem along with some minimal diet changes and raising the head of my bed by 4 inches. I haven't had recurring problems in years . . . although I do, on rare occasions, have a problem for a couple hours at a time.

I have used headache and migraine meds for many years and I no longer need them. Not sure if age has helped or if it the headaches are gone because of the anti-inflams I take for connective tissue disease.

I have taken antidepressants for several years as well and I occassionally give myself a trial (with doctor's consent) w/o the anti-d meds and I can get along fine for about 2 months and then I start to go backwards. I haven't suffered withdrawal from going off of these meds either . . . but I do "taper" off over a period of about 2 weeks.

I hope this helps. Please remember that each person is different and some of our/your experiences will depend on why the anti-d's were needed in the first place. Some people getting over a major life crises may do well with short term use of meds.

I hope you get lots of responses to your questions.

Blessings!
In His Grip,
AlwaysRosie          "We can't control the waves, but we can learn to surf!"
Psalms 139
UCTD (Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease), Hashimoto's, Plantar Fasciitis, Inflamatory Arthritis, High BP, GI Inflamation, Diverticuloses
Plaquenil, Methotrexate, Metanx, Synthroid, RX Motrin, Lexapro, Amitriptelyne, Salagen, Lotrel


CheerDad
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 2284
   Posted 7/22/2005 9:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Adding my welcome. This is a discussion I have ahd several times with my Dr. and I always end up back on the meds. When I am on them, I begin to feel better and in control of my life. My head then starts to believe I don't need them because I am feeling better. I then wean myself off the meds and then slowly desend back into my dark little hole from which I need the meds to help me crawl out of again. After several attempts to go at it alone, I have resigned myself to the belief that I am feeling good because of the meds and need to continue to take them. I have journaled this several times so when my little mind starts the discussion to get off the meds, I can go back and reread the my thoughs on the matter. Good luck and hope you find the answers you are looking for.
We can respond to irritation with a smile instead of scowl, or by giving warm praise instead of icy indifference. By our being understanding instead of abrupt, others, in turn, may decide to hold on a little longer rather than to give way. Love, patience, and meekness can be just as contagious as rudeness and crudeness.
 
Randy
 
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ejpetey78
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/22/2005 4:08 PM (GMT -7)   

I was on antidepressants on and off for years (7 years?), with a few failed attempts at getting off of them, and have now been off of them for about 2 years and am doing great. I think I've come to know my body and know when I'm slipping backwards again, and it's during those times that I really focus on giving myself the things I need to be mentally healthy.. good diet, exercise, social interaction, etc. That has seemed to work for me since I got off the meds. I am NOT saying I think that works for everyone or knocking those that do take meds, at all. I think that if they make you feel better, why not take them? Life is too short to be miserable when there's a way out, even if it happens to come in pill form. I wouldn't be opposed to going back on them if I felt like I really needed to, but so far I'm doing okay. When I was on them, I had a hard time at first accepting that I needed a pill to make me happy, but you have to keep in mind that there's something wrong up there in your brain, and the drugs are fixing it, and bringing you back to normal. If it works, why not??

If you do come off them, make sure you're really conscious of your mental health and catch yourself immediately if you feel you're starting to slip again. Really make an effort to stay healthy.. keep up the working out, eat well, get enough sleep, stay on a schedule. Don't live in fear every day and freak out if you start to feel down for like 5 minutes...stressing about it can make you depressed! Just go about your business and take one day at a time. You and the people around you will know if it's not working. And if it doesn't work, there's no shame in going back, and maybe you can try to get off them again later.

Well that's my 2 cents. Good luck, let me know if you have any other questions!

-Erin


MaWie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 7/22/2005 6:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks AlwaysRosie, CheerDad and ejpetey78 for your responses.

I saw the doc earlier today... I guess it went okay.
We talked about my "conflict" with taking the meds, and something was brought to my attention that I think I should look into more. I feel like I'm screwed if I take'em and screwed if I don't take'em. Taking the med has helped me in feeling "normal", in a sense, and I somewhat accept that it's helping to restore what is wrong up in my brain - to go along the lines of what you said ejpetey. On the other hand, I just feel the stigma of what goes along with taking meds and being from an Asian family it doesn't help either, along with what I feel as no support on it. On a side note: its hard to communicate with my family - my parent's immigrated to the US before I was born and there's a language barrier; as for my older siblings, there's an age gap of at least 8 years.

My depression mainly came from too much stress about family and school. In taking note of what you said AlwaysRosie, that everyone is different, I do take that into consideration. Sometimes I take it seriously and feel like it's weird... you know? I tend to stress often when it comes to stuff that I'm not all too familiar with, and since I'm fairly young (going to turn 21 later this year), I'm not sure how well I'll cope with things and it makes me even more cautious. In just how I look upon things and my family situation, I don't expect anyone else to have the exact same situation and views as I do, so I don't take suggestions/advice that I don't think is true to... me. I understand what you said and I appreciate it.

Another topic the psychiatrist noted was that he thinks I should continue seeing a therapist, even if I decide to not take the meds anymore. I do feel more relieved when I go talk to my therapist to "vent" and discuss matters that are bothering me, so I told him that I would definitely keep on talking to my therapist as needed. Seeing as to how it's difficult for me to... talk to people, like you CheerDad, I journaled. It was a way for me to get things out and I sort of still do that, but now it's in the form of poems. I write them in my sketchbook and the only one to read them so far is my therapist.

I'm still on the border about taking the meds to make me feel better, but on the recommendation of the psychiatrist... I'm going to continue them until I talk to my therapist about it - the "conflict" that I'm having with them.

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts... I don't feel all alone now.

AlwaysRosie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 7/22/2005 7:22 PM (GMT -7)   
MaWie,

What a fine line you have had to tread. I can only imagine trying to please parents from another culture, yet being raised within a conflicting culture. I have great respect for family values but with your health at risk, I'm glad you are considering your options.

I'm glad you were able to talk to your parents too. I know my parents had a difficult time understanding depression . . . but if I'd had diabetes, they would have helped me get medication for that. Keep working on this friend and let us know how you are doing. Good luck in the comming school year and may your parents be proud of you.

Blessings!
In His Grip,
AlwaysRosie          "We can't control the waves, but we can learn to surf!"
Psalms 139
UCTD (Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease), Hashimoto's, Plantar Fasciitis, Inflamatory Arthritis, High BP, GI Inflamation, Diverticuloses
Plaquenil, Methotrexate, Metanx, Synthroid, RX Motrin, Lexapro, Amitriptelyne, Salagen, Lotrel


MaWie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 7/26/2005 8:11 PM (GMT -7)   
AlwaysRosie said...
MaWie,

What a fine line you have had to tread. I can only imagine trying to please parents from another culture, yet being raised within a conflicting culture. I have great respect for family values but with your health at risk, I'm glad you are considering your options.

I'm glad you were able to talk to your parents too. I know my parents had a difficult time understanding depression . . . but if I'd had diabetes, they would have helped me get medication for that. Keep working on this friend and let us know how you are doing. Good luck in the comming school year and may your parents be proud of you.

Blessings!

Well, actually... I haven't been really able to talk to my parents.  I don't think they really understand what is going on with me, but with the help of my older siblings trying to explain it to them... they haven't been pestering me as much as before.  It's really hard to even talk to my parent's because of the language barrier - my parent's don't really speak/understand English as much and I'm not so good in speaking their dialect.

MindsEyeOpen
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 7/27/2005 5:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Somewhat. I have been on Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, and Nortryptaline, but am not on any medication now. I have found that the medication provided somewhat of a safety net for my feelings in that I could not sink so low as before, but on the flip side could not feel as good either. All of the medications made me feel sort of fake in a way, Nortryptaline made me act more like a different person. On the first 3 meds mentioned I often felt happier, but also a sort of positive apathy if that makes any sense. In anycase a very different sort of apathy then the darker side which comes out with the depression. It all comes down to not being able to feel fully other emotions, but being balanced with not being totally depressed all the time. Now I try to cheer up with various positive things (I got a cat and she really helps alot) but it doesn't always work. I will have to wait and see if staying off meds will work (older members have far more experience then me I'm sure). In short, this way, (without meds) seems harder, but seems more real to me.

Hope this helps

MaWie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 7/27/2005 11:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, thanks for all the replies so far.

An update with the meds situation:
I went and talked with my therapist earlier today. I told her that I sorta fluked on the meds (I had stopped taking them for a day... then took them the next day at a lower dosage; I continued taking the lowered dosage for a couple of days, but now I'm back on the prescribed dosage), and of course I got a scolding of sorts. She knows that I have a history of doing so... because of my reluctance to take them in the first place, and after hearing the ump-th time about "playing" with the meds... I've decided that I'm just going to take them.
It's not that anyone is forcing me to take them (thank goodness), but I realize that it has done me good so far... and it's not like I'll be on them forever *fingers crossed* right? So, I'm just going to let the meds help me until I feel I'm "stable" enough to be without them... cause, as hard as it is for me to admit, I'm still a bit shaky at this point. Now all I have to do is let myself move on...

AlwaysRosie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 7/28/2005 12:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Sounds like a plan MaWie!!
In His Grip,
AlwaysRosie          "We can't control the waves, but we can learn to surf!"
Psalms 139
UCTD (Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease), Hashimoto's, Plantar Fasciitis, Inflamatory Arthritis, High BP, GI Inflamation, Diverticuloses
Plaquenil, Methotrexate, Metanx, Synthroid, RX Motrin, Lexapro, Amitriptelyne, Salagen, Lotrel


Rianna
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 366
   Posted 7/31/2005 3:15 PM (GMT -7)   

Have you considered trying a natural antidepressant such as SAM-e or St. Johns Wort?  Like you, I got plain old tired of being on different meds.  My body would rebel after a few weeks, and I knew it was trying to tell me something.  Meds are not for everyone - I don't think they were for me.  I always envied the people where the Meds did work for them.  I was happy for them, but at the same time, I just wanted to feel better,and didn't understand why I couldn't after having depression for so long.

I have been on SAM-e for about 2.5 years and it has made a tremendous difference.  It is all natural amino acid that our bodies produce naturally but can decline as we age leading to depression or sad feelings, worthless, empty, etc.  Since taking SAM-e I have not felt this way.  You can find it in the Supplement Isle in any grocery store or Drug store, Nature Made is very good brand.  I take 400mg once a day.  Ask your Doctor about it and if he is not aware of it, he can go to the SAM-e dot com website and request literature and samples.

 


MaWie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 8/5/2005 1:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Rianna said...

Have you considered trying a natural antidepressant such as SAM-e or St. Johns Wort?  Like you, I got plain old tired of being on different meds.  My body would rebel after a few weeks, and I knew it was trying to tell me something.  Meds are not for everyone - I don't think they were for me.  I always envied the people where the Meds did work for them.  I was happy for them, but at the same time, I just wanted to feel better,and didn't understand why I couldn't after having depression for so long.

I have been on SAM-e for about 2.5 years and it has made a tremendous difference.  It is all natural amino acid that our bodies produce naturally but can decline as we age leading to depression or sad feelings, worthless, empty, etc.  Since taking SAM-e I have not felt this way.  You can find it in the Supplement Isle in any grocery store or Drug store, Nature Made is very good brand.  I take 400mg once a day.  Ask your Doctor about it and if he is not aware of it, he can go to the SAM-e dot com website and request literature and samples.

Actually I haven't thought about taking natural antidepressants... thanks for suggesting it Rianna.

As for the time being, I'm just going to take the meds.  I find myself not doing as well when I'm questioning about the effectiveness of the AD... and seeing as that it has helped me so far, I'm just going to stop thinking about it; if time comes that I really feel the need to re-examine what is working or not working, I might bring up the subject of natural antidepressants to my psychiatrist.


Ralph
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 8/5/2005 5:43 AM (GMT -7)   
I read recently about someone taking Magnesium for depression. Has anybody heard of this remedy?

I am back in the "Black Hole" after being fine from February to July. Some days I can't function at all. Tired all the time, listless with no motivation to do anything. Feel like a Zombie.

I seem to be OK the odd day, but slip right back down. I had been taking my Effexor 75mg, but last week doctor put me up to 150mg. Now I feel more into deep depression. No energy. Feeling helpless. sad
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